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CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — Veterans are having a more difficult time finding jobs than their non-veteran counterparts, according to a recent national survey and Department of Labor figures.

One in five of all veterans surveyed by said finding a job took six months or longer; one in 10 said it took more than a year.

The market is toughest for young veterans, with almost 20 percent age 20 to 25 unemployed, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some veterans also said they do not list their military service or do so selectively for fear it may be less desirable for their new career, according to the survey results.

However, the survey figures don’t factor in many who are returning to school or who have saved money and aren’t looking very hard for a job.

Exiting servicemembers in South Korea who are taking their job search seriously aren’t having big problems, said Dennis Riehle, Army Career Alumni Program Area I site manager. Reasonable expectations are important to a successful search, especially for younger troops, “because chances are they’re not going to get out of the Army and make all this big money,” he said.

Riehle has worked with Area I soldiers for nine years. “We try to bring them back to reality a little bit and make them understand that they are starting over on a new career,” he said.

About 60 percent of soldiers leaving the service in Area I say they are going back to school, Riehle said. In other cases, soldiers feel they deserve a break after their service and collect unemployment benefits, he said.

And about 40 percent of the servicemembers who pass through Riehle’s office end up re-enlisting, he said.

“They find out that, yes, it’s hard work getting a job — maybe reenlisting isn’t such a bad idea,” Riehle said.

The survey showed a few bright spots for servicemembers looking to enter the civilian workforce. For example, 44 percent of U.S. hiring managers surveyed said they planned to recruit veterans for positions this year.

The survey included random sampling among 1,000 hiring managers and 150 veterans from June 9 through June 16.

Employers suggest skills to advertise

Below is the percentage of 1,000 hiring managers surveyed by who recommended young veterans market the following job skills, in addition to their accomplishments and any trade-specific skills:

27 percent: Ability to work as part of a team.

26 percent: Disciplined approach to work.

13 percent: Problem-solving skills and ability to perform under pressure.

11 percent: Respect and integrity.

10 percent: Leadership.

— Stars and Stripes

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